Avoid Overtraining

Avoiding Overtraining

Five ways to avoid overtraining and recover faster

I get more out of high intensity training when my mind and body are ready:  I adapt better, I get leaner, I lose weight, I get more fit, and I'm faster and stronger.  I also feel better -- even after a tough workout.  When I'm rested and recovered, I perform better.

Fatigue, soreness, and the inability to perform up to my potential can be a result of "overtraining".  But before I reach a state of overtraining, I'll reach a state of "over-reaching".  Over-reaching can be a good way to increase performance, lose weight, and optimize hormone production.  Over-reaching is training done in a temporary state of fatigue.  I can over-reach for up to two weeks sometimes, but beyond that, over-reaching turns into overtraining.  Over-reaching has some significant benefits when it's planned as part of a training program.  

Have you ever felt tired and sore heading into a workout, and then once the workout starts, you feel good and surprise yourself by making it through?  That's over-reaching, and it can work well for making significant improvements in your fitness. Overtraining happens when you can't get that second wind to get through the workout.

Here are a few ways to determine whether you're overtraining:

  • Your performance levels are dropping.  You can't run as fast, lift as much weight, or push through a workout.
  • Your biomarkers are going in the wrong direction, or staying the same.  You haven't lost any weight or you're gaining weight even though your training and diet is the same.   
  • You're tired and have a tough time getting up in the morning or staying awake throughout the day.
  • You don't want to workout, and your energy level is constantly low.

If you never change up your training schematic and you're doing the same thing every day -- week after week, month after month, then chances are you may be over-training.

Here are a few ways to quickly recover from overtraining:

  • Cold Thermogenesis. Take cold showers or baths after training.  This help get inflammation out of the body and will aid in much faster recovery.
  • Eat a diet low in inflammatory foods like grains, sugars, and alcohol.  It's impossible to recovery when our body is constantly battling inflamation.
  • Get plenty of sleep!  You should have 8.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
  • Take a week off!  It won't kill you, and you won't gain 10lbs. If you continue to train through overtraining, it will only set you back further.

Overtraining can become a tough reality for some people.  But eating an anti-inflammatory diet, getting enough sleep, and varying your workouts will help you avoid overtraining and keep you healthy and energetic, and you will continue to see improvements in performance.

Aaron Leventhal
Owner, Head Trainer
Fit Studios LLC